Segment 4 - Considering the Costs of Hepatitis C Treatment

While some patients and physicians are not aware of the costs of care, others are concerned about whether they can afford treatment options at all. Dr Miller describes some of the major steps to the incremental benefits and incremental costs incurred by new agents.

While some patients and physicians are not aware of the costs of care, others are concerned about whether they can afford treatment options at all. Dr Miller describes some of the major steps to the incremental benefits and incremental costs incurred by new agents.

“We’re recommending that actually, when these patients are screened and are positive, that they actually get appropriately staged by a hepatologist. This has become much more complex, and even though the agents are orally available now—which means many more primary care doctors may want to attempt to treat these patients—I think proper identification of which patients should be treated, and making sure that they’re really being worked up appropriately and tracked appropriately, is going to be crucial,” he says. “This is becoming a much more complex disease to treat. The great news is that it’s also becoming much more treatable. We’re recommending to our clients that they encourage evaluation by a hepatologist.”

Dr Wilson suggests that new agents add tremendous value, especially when compared to other treatments historically. The cost equation, however, can be overwhelming.

The panelists go on to discuss how sofosbuvir and simeprevir showed improvement in hard-to-treat patients, or those who failed to showed improvement with interferon-based treatment. Outcomes of these new treatments can be tremendous, but how these patients can receive treatment may be the real challenge.